EdFringe 2018 Review: Marmite

Rating: ★★★★

Venue: Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre

Marmite examines the ups and downs of a gay relationships and the concept of gay monogamy in a frank, natural manner. This piece from Limerence Productions is filled with good-spirited comedy and lively performances from its game cast.

Dylan and Eddie have recently moved in together. Their relationship is progressing well until the question of monogamy comes up. Whilst Dylan is keen to explore taking their relationship down an alternative route, Eddie has more conventional attitudes but begrudgingly accepts the idea of an open relationship. Eddie can only hide this for so long and cracks begin to appear within the young men’s relationship

Marmite presents its subject matter in a grounded, authentic way – capturing the relationship from its early stages (from dates in Weatherspoons to awkward sexual encounters) to its move to more fragile territory (the introduction of the concept of ‘opening’) with a natural and immediately relatable manner. Marmite manages to make the ordinary amusing – poking fun at everything from homophobic grandparents and bolshy siblings to uncomfortable straight hen nights. This is a testament to the performances of its excellent cast - and sharp writing behind it.

It is no surprise that we are immediately drawn into Dylan and Eddie’s world and invested in their sweet dynamic. Some audience members will relate to Dylan’s more liberal approach to dating, whilst others will find common ground with Eddie’s more conservative beliefs. Marmite makes no political judgement on either Dylan or Eddie’s desires, instead reflecting the wide variety of romances and sexual encounters available in the modern world.

Eddie articulately captures the concerns of a non-monogamous relationship, exploring the crushing feeling of being ignored or forgotten by the one you love; whilst Dylan channels the excitement and desire of bringing a new sexual partner into the fold. Marmite parallels this gay relationship with that of Eddie’s straight sister – which is a standout turn razor sharp turn - reflecting the conventional life that Eddie dreams of, yet Marmite even unveils cracks within this traditional heterosexual dynamic. There is a heartfelt emotion at the heart of Marmite thanks to our investment in our protagonist’s convincingly crafted romantic dynamic.

Marmite presents its story with a natural heartfelt warmth and lively good humour. Sharp writing and spirited performances ensure that this is a play that will be around for a long time.
Theatre Review 6274369096879869710
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